Sitting in a busy café in the middle of Brisbane city, is where I found myself writing this article. I find my main reason for this is because I love adventures and discovering new places, especially when they involve coffee.
The organisation that I am with consists of us living, working and spending every-day together. Youth with a Mission (YWAM) is a missions organisation trained to equip and disciple young people. Because of living in community, I love getting out and being among people with whom I'm not usually around. Currently I am surrounded by loud chatter, laughter and a busy vibe. Tables are full as people are busy eating lunch, drinking coffee and catching up with friends.
While looking around I realise that I don't know anyone's story. We may have thoughts, ideas or maybe even assumptions about another's life. Most of which are probably not true.
This brings me back to my own life. At the age of 21, I am reminded that people around me don't know my story. Moving from London, England to Brisbane, Australia when I was 18 was definitely an exciting, adventurous and life changing move. However, what people may not necessarily see or fully comprehend are the trials I've had with putting my dependency in God, the anxiety I might feel with trusting the people around me and the hardship of leaving everything behind.
"Comparison is the thief of joy"
Often we are so busy looking at the lives of the people around us and assuming things are a certain way that we end up missing the blessing, the uniqueness and the intimacy with God we could have if we were fully focusing on Him. We each have our own individual gifts that God has given us, but for some reason we often seem to find it difficult to be content with who we are.
On Instagram I saw a story by Michelle Myers, a personal trainer that demonstrated exactly this. She said "about 6 years ago, I was in the weight room at the gym, and in the mirror, I caught a glimpse of another girl's legs. Immediately, I thought, 'wow, I wish my legs looked like that.' When I turned around to see who she was, I was met by my own reflection. There was a mirror on the wall behind me and in front of me." Theodore Roosevelt's famous saying "comparison is the thief of joy" highlights exactly this. It took Myers thinking and comparing herself to who she thought was someone else, in order for her to feel content with who she was.
Why is comparison the thief of joy?
While we are busy looking and focusing on the people around us, thinking, assuming and maybe even telling ourselves that others have it altogether. The devil is getting exactly what he wants. After all in John 10 verse 10 it says "the thief came to steal, kill and destroy." By comparing, thinking or even assuming something of another person, we are taking our eyes off Jesus and He is no longer getting the glory. In turn, we may find ourselves on a downward, unhealthy spiral.
The rest of John 10 verse 10 records Jesus saying "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full". This sentence immediately demonstrates that Jesus wants us to be completely in love with Him and focus everything on Him. Don't let your own expectations, assumptions or ideas of another's life affect your own relationship with God, or where He wants to lead you.
Written by Rebecca Bowie.
She is a young Christian who is intentionally seeking after Gods heart and striving to love people with everything. Now living in Brisbane Australia, was formerly living in London, England. She's a full-time volunteer at Youth with a Mission.
Written for Christian Today